[ak-see-uh l]
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Origin of axial

First recorded in 1840–50; axi- + -al1
Related formsax·i·al·i·ty, nounax·i·al·ly, adverbin·ter·ax·i·al, adjectivemul·ti·ax·i·al, adjectivemul·ti·ax·i·al·ly, adverbsub·ax·i·al, adjectivesub·ax·i·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for axial


  1. relating to, forming, or characteristic of an axis
  2. situated in, on, or along an axis
Derived Formsaxiality, nounaxially, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for axial

"pertaining to an axis," by 1825, from axis + -al (1). Related: Axially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

axial in Medicine


  1. Relating to or characterized by an axis; axile.
  2. Relating to or situated in the head and trunk region of the body.
  3. Relating to or parallel with the long axis of a tooth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

axial in Science


Plural axes (ăksēz′)
  1. An imaginary line around which an object rotates. In a rotating sphere, such as the Earth and other planets, the two ends of the axis are called poles. The 23.45° tilt of the Earth's axis with respect to the plane of its orbit around the Sun causes the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to point toward and away from the Sun at different times of the year, creating seasonal patterns of weather and climate. Other planets in the solar system have widely varying tilts to their axes, ranging from near 0° for Mercury to 177° for Venus.
  2. Mathematics
    1. A line, ray, or line segment with respect to which a figure or object is symmetrical.
    2. A reference line from which distances or angles are measured in a coordinate system, such as the x-axis and y-axis in the Cartesian coordinate system.
  3. Anatomy The second cervical vertebra, which serves as a pivot for the head.
  4. Botany The main stem or central part of a plant or plant part, about which other plant parts, such as branches or leaflets, are arranged.
Related formsaxial adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.